UC Riverside's Earle Selected In First Round Of MLS SuperDraft
Three Big West players were taken in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft on Thursday afternoon, including UC Riverside defender Otis Earle, who went 15th overall in the first round to FC Dallas.
Earle becomes the first, first round selection in Highlander program history, and UCR’s second player overall taken in the draft. The Portland Timbers drafted Aaron Long with the 36th pick (2nd round) in 2014.
A 6-0 defender, Earle earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Far West Region Third Team accolades and All-Big West First Team acclaim in 2014. A native of London, England, Earle finished in a tie for second on the squad with eight points via two goals and a team-high tying four assists.
Earle finished his four seasons as the Highlander career record holder with 14 assists.
Earle is the ninth Big West player to be selected in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft, and represents the conference’s fourth first round selection in the last four years.
Two CSUN forwards also went off the board during Thursday’s festivities in Philadelphia. In the second round, the Columbus Crew selected Sagi Lev-Ari with the 35th overall pick and two picks later, Toronto FC tabbed Edwin Rivas. It marked the first time in the Matador program history that two players were selected in the same SuperDraft, which include the first two rounds.
Lev-Ari earned NSCAA All-Far West Second Team honors after leading the Big West with 11 goals and 22 points in 2014. It was his third consecutive season with double-digit goals. Lev-Ari finished his three-year career in the red and black with 42 goals, the fourth-highest total in Big West history. He also received all-conference first team accolades for the second time.
Rivas concluded his CSUN career with 17 goals, 10 assists and 44 points. He was an All-Big West First Team selection as a sophomore when he scored eight points and added four assists.
The third and fourth rounds of the draft will take place on Tuesday, January 20, via teleconference.